Obama Looking for Ways to Hold onto His Blackberry

Illustration for article titled Obama Looking for Ways to Hold onto His Blackberry

It looks like President-Elect Obama isn't going to give up his beloved BlackBerry this January without some sort of fight. In an interview with Barbara Walters, he revealed that he was working to find a solution to that whole surrender-your-cellphones-and-email-accounts at the door policy.

"One of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation, the bubble that exists around the president," Obama said. "And I'm in the process of negotiating with the Secret Service, with lawyers, with White House staff ... to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House. Because one of the worst things I think that can happen to a president is losing touch with the struggles that people are going through every day."

Interesting spin! Never knew the BlackBerry provided a way to get in touch with the common folk that newspapers and say... a White House blog or something... don't. Still, all the luck to Obama and his changing the Presidential Records Act to be more tech-savvy. I wasn't that convinced open official correspondence and using BlackBerries were mutually exclusive in the first place. [Gearlog]

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Hi Elaine,

A little too much attitude in your recent posts, not enough substance, and definitely lacking in the funny. May want to tone it down a tad. Before making blanket statements about how you weren't "convinced open official correspondence and using BlackBerries were mutually exclusive in the first place," please read up on the subject matter. The Presidential Records Act is a very old piece of legislation that predated electronic correspondence. Neither President Clinton nor Bush II used email during their time in office, so there were no established procedures (legal or operational) governing the use of smart devices such as a Blackberry. It would be an untested precedent. I agree that on the surface, the wording and spirit of the PRA would not prohibit the use of a Blackberry, but nobody knows what a PRA-compliant Blackberry looks like yet.